09/21/2012 06:51 am ET Updated Sep 21, 2012

'Parks & Recreation' Premiere: Leslie Brushes Off Senator John McCain (VIDEO)

Leslie and Ben were in Washington, DC for the premiere of "Parks & Recreation." April went along as Ben's assistant, while Andy was there to "help" Leslie. For Leslie, though, what she thought would be an exciting opportunity to see some of her idols and flex her political muscles, turned out to be a far more somber experience.

Leslie Knope learned that while she may be a big fish in Pawnee, Indiana, she's a very, very small one in Washington, DC. She couldn't get a meeting for her river cleanup project and because there are a bunch of Pawnees across the country, people didn't know exactly where she was from. It was disillusioning for her, leading her to sulk in a coat closet.

And there she was when John McCain came in to get his coat. She gave him the cold shoulder when he offered kindness, without turning to see who it was. But she did get to meet two of her idols, Senators Barbara Boxer and Olympia Snowe.

Things weren't going so great for Ron back in Pawnee, either. He had to step up in Leslie's absence and coordinate the barbecue to show appreciation for the parks department. Instead, he threw a temper tantrum and drove off with his still-smoking meat smoker attached to the back of his vehicle. That got him a warning from Chris that he needs to step it up and be the leader he's tried to avoid being all these years.

It was a healthy blend of the funny with more serious character moments in the premiere. See how Leslie and Ron find their balance as "Parks & Recreation" continues every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

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